WATCH: Amid 'Force Awakens' hype, this sobering supercut captures the 'Phantom Menace' reactions

And while 'Episode I' is regarded a dud today, these fans absolutely loved it

Star Wars, Episode I, Force Awakens, JJ Abrams, Phantom Menace,

Kraig McLaughlin of Los Angeles sips from a Queen Amidala soft drink container as he waits in line [AP Photo/Chris Pizzello]

In eight days, after 16 years, the newest feature in the Star Wars franchise is going to hit the silver screen, almost certainly with record-breaking box-office returns and a palpable sense of anticipation – the likes of which we’ve not felt since the 16-year wait between 1983’s Return of the Jedi and 1999’s The Phantom Menace.

With the news that midnight screenings sold out months ago and that in some cities people have already started queuing to pick out their seats come show time on December 18th, expectation is at fever pitch. JJ Abrams, it seems, is the chosen one, the director to bring balance back to the force and right the very bad wrongs of the second trilogy.

But it bears remembering, in an effort to at least take a rational approach to the film event of the year, that this kind of climate of indefatigable idolisation of the forthcoming film – before anyone, bar a man with terminal cancer, has managed to take a critical look at it – is very similar to the cinematic climate surrounding the release of The Phantom Menace.

Now a vintage supercut of fan interviews immediately before and after the premiere screenings of the much-maligned Episode I, with its boring storyline (nefarious trade warfare?), silly characters (Jar-Jar?), and terrible casting (“I think that little Anakin Skywalker, and everyone’s gonna say it, stole that movie!”) shows that in the cold light of 16 years of ridicule, Star Wars fans can sometimes get it wrong.

“There’s no way it’s gonna be a disappointment!” one man wearing a Darth Vader mask says.

Not afraid for Abrams’ take? Watch the video below and... You will be...

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